US’ Turner Construction sets sights on Greater Kuala Lumpur


WITH property development increasingly reaching for the skies, a company from the United States has established its roots in Greater Kuala Lumpur to tap the ever-growing market segment in Malaysia and the Asean market.

Turner Construction Co, a multinational construction firm, has been in Asia since 1965 when it managed the construction of Hong Kong’s Mei Foo Sun Chuen, one of the world’s largest residential developments at that time. Since then, it has placed its fingerprint on a number of iconic developments dotted throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

From Taipei 101 in Taiwan to the Bitexco Financial Tower in Vietnam, Turner has carved a position in the development of iconic projects in South-East Asia.

“Our current focus is in South-East Asia, particularly Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, where we carry out our assignments through a regional and country-focused management structure,” Jack Cummiskey, vice- president and regional manager, Asia Turner International Malaysia Sdn Bhd. said of its work in the Asian markets.

In Malaysia, it is now doing infrastructure work on the Tun Razak Exchange, involved in the construction of the Warisan Tower and the Warisan Merdeka Mall, the Four Seasons Place KL and working on Tradewinds Square, Menara Tun Razak and the Etiqa office tower, a 38-storey office tower in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

“While Turner is contracted directly for these projects, we routinely work side by side with a host of local firms providing design and specialty consulting for many aspects of the projects,” he said.

With more than a handful of projects in Malaysia, Turner’s decision to set up an office in Greater Kuala Lumpur was based on more than just the potential of the Malaysian market.

“Our decision was guided by three factors, including the potential the Malaysia market offers not only in Greater Kuala Lumpur but throughout the peninsula.

“In addition, we have found a very business friendly environment which supports our overall growth strategies for the region. In turn, KLIA offers the best access to the South-East Asia region making Greater Kuala Lumpur a natural choice for our regional headquarters,” Cummiskey said.

As there is a tremendous amount of building happening in South-East Asia, Turner believes that many firms will find the property segment and the business-friendly market in Malaysia, specifically Greater Kuala Lumpur, a prime spot for developing their regional hub.

“We also believe the high levels of foreign direct investment, which we see as a leading indicator for Malaysia’s economy, will continue to grow sustainably making Malaysia a strategic market for a wide array of market sectors,” he said.

From Turner’s perspective, the edge Greater Kuala Lumpur presents is the strength of the property development sector itself.

“While regional neighbours are also experiencing impressive growth, the business and living environment in Greater Kuala Lumpur make it a very easy place to attract our best professionals to the scale and quality of developments such as Warisan Merdeka and Tradewinds Square are quite rare and unique globally giving us yet another excellent recruiting tool,” said Cummiskey.

The assistance given by InvestKL has also proved to be invaluable in supporting Turner’s business in Malaysia.

“By contrast with other countries where we operate in the region, we have in InvestKL a best of class partner that has helped us navigate the many important steps to properly establish both our Malaysia base of operations and our regional headquarters.

“We have come to rely on their insightful guidance in many areas including talent recruiting and development, employment passes and business regulations. They have made several important connections for us with like-minded businesses that allow us to share and learn from each other’s experiences,” said Cummiskey.

With the projects in hand and an office here, Turner is evaluating opportunities in Greater Kuala Lumpur as well as other cities in the country.

“We are well known internationally for our experience with super tall towers and mega-scale projects but we also bring a deep depth of experience in projects in healthcare, science and research, hospitality and specialised technology facilities,” he said.

Turner is planting deep roots in Greater Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as a whole, and in the Asean region. Its current project activity is a solid indication of the depth of the market which clearly reflects the maturing of Malaysia’s overall economic development into a “first world economy”.

“It is our goal to increase the proficiency and knowledge of our staff so they can take on new challenges. We are also actively educating young staff so they become leaders in the construction of future projects in Greater Kuala Lumpur and all of Malaysia,” said Cummiskey.

This article was facilitated by InvestKL, Greater Kuala Lumpur’s investment promotion agency.


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